DES MOINES, Iowa — The Clive Police Department identified the teenage boys involved in a police chase that ended in a fatal crash on Monday, and members of the Oakridge community are saddened to learn about the loss of one of their own.
“Zacharia or Sammy, for a lot of people, was considered the mayor of Oakridge. He was an ambassador like no one else,” said Teree Caldwell-Johnson, the president and CEO of Oakridge Neighborhood Services.
Caldwell-Johnson first met 14-year-old Zacharia Warsame in 2010 when his family moved into the community.
“I have to admit; I’m just in shock that Z would find himself, not only involved in anything like this, but in harm’s way and in a situation that ultimately ended his life,” Caldwell-Johnson said.
According to the Clive Police Department, Zacharia traveled in a stolen vehicle with four other teenagers: 16-year-old Emmanuel Nyariel, 14-year-old Majok Nyariel, 13-year-old Mohamed Elzubeir and 15-year-old Hamid Lula. Both Emmanuel and Majok Nyariel also died in the crash. Police say both Mohamed Elzubeir and Hamid Lula remain in critical condition in the hospital.
“We need to grieve in a way that helps us to not only understand and heal but also figure out ways that we support you and ways that we can reach out and mentor someone who may need some support and assistance along the way,” Caldwell-Johnson said.